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Great Britain's Shakespeare class destroyers

Photos

  • HMS Broke destroyer
  • HMS Keppel destroyer

Design

Thornycroft, in 1916, proposed a design for a flotilla leader to the Admiralty.

Armament

Originally intended to have 5" guns, 4.7" guns were installed due to delays in designing the 5".

Ships

 

HMS Broke, D83 (formerly Rooke)

  • Builder: J. Thornycroft at Pembroke Dockyard
  • October 1918: Laid down
  • September 16, 1920: Launched
  • ~1921: Renamed Broke
  • April 15, 1925: Commissioned
  • 1939: With 29th Division, 15th Destroyer Flotilla.
  • 1939 - 1942: Worked in Western Approaches and North Atlantic.
  • 1941 - 1942: Turned into escort
  • November 8, 1942, November 9, 1942, November 10, 1942: Sunk by coastal batteries off Algiers

HMS Keppel, D84

  • Builder: J. Thornycroft at Portsmouth Dockyard
  • October 1918, November 1918: Laid down
  • April 23, 1920, September 16, 1920: Launched
  • April 15, 1925: Commissioned
  • 1940 - 1942: With 13th Destroyer Flotilla and Force H at Gibraltar.
  • December 13, 1942: Commissioned
  • 1941 - 1942: Turned into escort
  • 194?: Escorted some convoys in the Atlantic and to Russia. Leader of the close escort for PQ17.
  • 1943, 1944: Converted to long range escort
  • 1944 - 1945: With the 8th Support and 20th Escort Groups escorting Artic convoys. Sank three U-Boats (U713, U360, and U344).
  • July 1945: Sold
  • 1945: Broken up at Barrow

HMS Saunders

  • January 1919: Cancelled

HMS Shakespeare

  • Served in World War I
  • June 1918: Suffered damage when hit a mine.
  • July 1936: Sold to Jarrow
  • 1936: Broken up

HMS Spenser

  • Served in World War I
  • July 1936: Sold to Inverkeithing
  • 1936: Broken up

HMS Spragge

  • January 1919: Cancelled

HMS Wallace, L64

  • Builder: J. Thornycroft
  • August 1917: Laid down
  • October 20, 1918, October 26, 1918: Launched
  • January 19, 1919: Commissioned
  • 1938 - 1939, early 1939: Converted to anti-aircraft destroyer. 4.7" guns removed and bridge remodeled. Torpedo tubes removed and replaced by quad .5" machine guns. Two 20 mm Oerlikons were on the bridge wings. Type 272 and Type 291 radar installed.
  • June 14, 1939: Completed conversion.
  • August 26, 1939: Re-Commissioned.
  • September 1939 - March 1945: Escorted convoys from Rosyth and Sheerness.
  • Late 1942: Type 285 gunnery radar installed.
  • July 1943: Invasion of Sicily.
  • August 1943: Returned to United Kingdom.
  • Mid 1944: .5" machine guns replaced by one 2 pdr and two 20 mm.
  • March 16, 1945: Collided with HMS Farndale off Humber.
  • March 20, 1945: Sold to Dunston.
  • April 12, 1945: Put into reserved unrepaired.
  • 1945: Broken up

Specifications

  Shakespeare class
Crew 164
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 1,480 tons, 1,554 tons
1,579 tonnes
Displacement - Loaded 2,009 tons
2,041 tonnes
Length 329'
100.3 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 318' 3"
97 m
Length - Water Line  
Beam 31' 6", 31' 9"
9.6 m
Draft / Height 9', 12' 3"
3.73 m
Performance  
Speed 36 knots, 36.5 knots
Armament 2, 5: 4.7", 4.7" (2 x 1)
Anti-Aircraft 1: 3" HA
1: machine gun
Torpedo Tubes 6: 21" (2 x 3)
Hedgehog 1
Engines  
Boilers 4: Yarrow
Shafts 2
Turbines Brown-Curtis S.R. geared, geared
HP 40,000, 43,500
Oil 500 tons
508 tonnes
  HMS Broke, HMS Keppel
Armament 2: 4.7"
2: 2 pdrs
Anti-Aircraft 1: 3" HA
Broke 2: 20 mm
Keppel 4: 20 mm
Depth Charges 70 - 98
Hedgehog 1
Torpedo Tubes 6: 21" (2 x 3)
  HMS Keppel converted to long range escort
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement - Loaded 2,280 tons
Performance  
Speed 28 knots
Armament 2: 4.7"
5: 20 mm
Depth Charges 140
Hedgehog 1
Engines  
Oil 575 tons
  HMS Wallace
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement - Loaded 2,145 tons
Armament 4: 20 mm
Anti-Aircraft 4: 4" QF Mk XVI, 4" Mk XIX HA (2 x 2), 4" (2 x 2)
1: 4 x 2 pdr pompoms
2: 2 pdr pompoms
2: 20 mm
8: .5" machine guns (2 x 4)
Depth Charges 30
Torpedo Tubes None
Engines  
Oil 409 tons

Sources:

  1. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  2. Destroyers of World War Two, M.J. Whitley, 1988
  3. Warships of World War II, H.T. Lenton & J.J. Colledge, 1964
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site